Episcopal Church
of the Resurrection
1433 NW R.D. Mize Road
Blue Springs, Missouri  64015
 
(816) 228-4220

Weekly E-mail

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany
SUNDAY, JANUARY 31, 2021.
One service only at 9:30 am (live streamed)

Resurrection will host in-person services this Sunday.  COVID precautions will be observed with a face mask required. The Annual Meeting will follow the service at 11:00 am.
Annual Meeting this Sunday at 11:00 am
SUNDAY, JANUARY 31.
Annual Meeting
The Annual Meeting will be held this Sunday, January 31 beginning at 11:00 am and following only one Sunday morning service that begins at 9:30 AM.

The meeting will be held in-person and virtual on ZOOM. 

Meeting ID: 959 8661 1120     Passcode: 205104


Ballots for Vestry election were mailed to member homes and were due January 15.  Ballots will NOT be accepted at the Annual Meeting.
From Father David+
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO WALK WITH GOD?
Fr. David Lynch_

If you have listened to my homilies at church at the Eucharist, you have heard me comment on walking in the power of the Holy Spirit, through God's love. In this Epiphany time, we are given a chance to observe Jesus calling his followers, the disciples and even his apostles. Our prayers are meant to be a conversation that allows us to be heard and to know that we are not alone. As Jesus' followers walked with him and observed his actions and listened to his interactions, they had the greatest opportunity to feel God's presence.

If we go on a walk with friends, what do we do during our walk? Besides the obvious, walking, we are having a conversation, sharing things that are on our mind, and listening to our friends do the same as you head to your destination. We stay focused on what each other is saying and do not get distracted. As believers in Christ, we can walk with Him throughout our entire life here on earth until we arrive in heaven. God loves to be in relationship with us, and we can converse with Him through prayer and reading the inspired Word, hearing God's love and gaining God's wisdom for us as we live our lives here on earth (Psalm 32:81 John 3:1).

Walking with God means we are in agreement with God and God's ways (
Amos 3:3). No one is perfect, but when we are walking with God our desires can be to see our own selfish desires die for the sake of seeing God transform us more and more into the image of Jesus: "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come" (2 Corinthians 5:17; see also 2 Corinthians 3:18).

Another name for walking with God that is commonly used in the New Testament is "walking in the Spirit" (
Galatians 5:16Romans 8:4). When Jesus ascended into heaven, He left the Holy Spirit with us. The Holy Spirit, being with us and in us, is our direct link to God (Romans 8:9-1126-27Ephesians 1:13-14).

Walking with God is a way of life, and it is our choice. We can walk in God's ways or the ways of the world, but we cannot do both (
2 Kings 8:27Ephesians 2:2Matthew 6:24James 4:4). There will be sacrifices made no matter which path we choose but walking with God is the way of eternal life (Hebrews 12:1-2). It will not be without cost, but it will be worth it (Matthew 7:13-14). Walking with the Lord means we live to please God and not ourselves. We cut things out of our lives that keep us from walking in the ways of God, because we are motivated by love and a desire to be close to God (Romans 13:14Psalm 1:1-3). We also depend on the power and work of the Holy Spirit to enable us to walk with Him (2 Corinthians 3:18Philippians 2:12-13).

People who walk with God display the fruit of the Spirit (
Galatians 5:22-23). Christ followers live in contrast to the ways of the world surrounding them (Philippians 2:15). When Peter and John were arrested and brought before the authorities for preaching the gospel, the authorities took note of the men's boldness "... and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus" (Acts 4:13). When you consistently walk with God, others will be able to recognize that, though we are flawed and imperfect, we have been with Jesus. My message this week may seem pretty simple and basic for any Christian's understanding, but there is much more to living into our walks with God than saying we understand. May your walks with Father, Son and Holy Spirit bring you wisdom and enlightenment for your journeys.
Parish Announcements
LOOKING FORWARD.
THE RETURN OF BIBLE STUDY
Bible Study Bible study will restart on Wednesday, February 3, at 1:00 pm both at church and via ZOOM. We look forward to this fellowship as we continue to observe COVID guidelines and gather via electronic means.

Meeting ID: 976 6873 2072 Passcode: 794043 

PREPARATIONS FOR LENT
As we approach the season of Lent, we will plan on how to celebrate Ash Wednesday and the offerings during Holy Week. With support from the Diocese, We hope to have ideas and resources to make our experiences meaningful in this time of pandemic. More information to come in the following weeks.

COVID IN-PERSON GUIDELINES
  • Upon entry, ushers will ask if you have any symptoms of illness including fever, chills, coughing and any history of recent illness. It is very important that you DO NOT attend church if you feel ill or know that you have been exposed to COVID or any other serious illness.
  • Ushers will check your name against a directory roster and newcomers and visitors will be asked to provide their names and phone numbers upon entry. There will be no guest book or prayer sheet to sign.
  • Masks will be required at all times while in the church building.
  • Hand sanitizer, facial tissue and some masks will be provided.
  • Seating will be in every other pew and social distancing at least 6 feet apart. Families may sit together.
  • Congregational singing will not be allowed.  There will be no hymnals in the pews for use.
  • Prayer books will be provided and will be located in the back pews. After the service, prayer books should be placed in the big basket located in the narthex when leaving.
  • Communion of both kinds will be available in individual chalices and distributed by the priest.  Please discard these used chalice packets in the trash when leaving.
Altar Flowers sign-up
DONATION OF $35 PER WEEK REQUESTED.
Altar Flowers
If you would like to contribute to the beauty of our worship space this new year by contributing altar flowers, please e-mail Elaine Gilligan with the Sunday date(s) you would like to give flowers and any dedication, honor, or memory you would like included.  Giving a flower donation for the Glory of God is always appropriate.  You can also sign-up in the Narthex. 
Monday Matters - RenewalWorks
FROM REV. JAY SIDEBOTHAM +.
Monday Matters Column dated January 25, 2021

Then Peter began to speak to them: "I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ-he is Lord of all.  -Acts 10:34-36  (St. Peter's vision of unity)
 
In Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.   -Galatians 3:26-28 (St. Paul's vision of unity)
 
A prayer for the Unity of the Church (p. 818, Book of Common Prayer)
O God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, our only Savior, the Prince of Peace: Give us grace seriously to lay to heart the great dangers we are in by our unhappy divisions; take away all hatred and prejudice, and whatever else may hinder us from godly union and concord; that, as there is but one Body and one Spirit, one hope of our calling, one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism, one God and Father of us all, so we may be all of one heart and of one soul, united in one holy bond of truth and peace, of faith and charity, and may with one mind and one mouth glorify thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Rev. Jay Sidebotham _
Unity

Sometimes, it's crystal clear that the Holy Spirit is at work in the church calendar. Today, January 25, we observe the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, the story of Paul's Damascus Road experience. It concludes a week that began on January 18 with the feast of the Confession of St. Peter, which tells about the time when Peter confessed Jesus as Messiah. The week between these two stories, these two celebrations is called a week of Prayer for Christian Unity.  In case you haven't noticed, unity seems to be on our minds these days, not that we necessarily know how to get it.

Let's not miss the fact that these two characters, Peter and Paul, bracket this week. They had things in common. Both were capable leaders, innovators, spiritual entrepreneurs. Both had pretty strong ego strength. Both knew failure. Peter denied Jesus. Paul persecuted members of the Jesus movement. The New Testament indicates that they had run-ins. (Church fights are nothing new.) Paul publicly accused Peter of hypocrisy. A letter attributed to Peter notes that some of Paul's letters were hard to understand. The two guys agreed to disagree, Peter having a mission to those in the Jewish community, Paul directing attention to Gentiles.

With all that, these two pillars of the early church illustrate something about unity. Their unity was not uniformity, not even agreement. I'm not sure they even liked each other that much. But with the help of these two characters, Peter without unexpressed thought and Paul without editor, we can learn something about what unity means, not only in our church, but in our families and workplaces, in our nation and world. According to them (see verses above) unity is about welcome and inclusion, about the wideness of God's mercy which we hopefully reflect in our lives. Hopefully.

In response, I felt an urgent need to seek another understanding of what it means to be a Jesus follower. I picked up a book entitled Jesus and the Disinherited by Howard Thurman. He talks about how those who feel disenfranchised (people on all sides of the political spectrum these days) easily resort to fear, deception and hate. We've seen all of those in our politics. Thurman says that hate emerges in a situation in which there is "contact without fellowship. "

The ways that lack of fellowship gets expressed need not be as egregious as attacking our capitol, setting up a noose for the Vice President in Jesus' name. We might ask, for instance: Where does road rage come from? When I'm driving (without my collar on) I can declare someone to be a total idiot, or worse, simply because they drive too slow or hog the left lane or fail to use a signal. I would never do that if I were in the passenger seat with them. Social media allows people to say things they would not otherwise say, not that I would ever participate in such. We retreat into silos of class, race, theology, liturgy, politics, taste which allows us to other-ize folks and feel somehow more secure, more in touch with our "inheritance." Contact without fellowship.

So a week of prayer for Christian unity is timely, a reminder, a recognition of the importance of relationship, not only with God but with each other. It calls us to the wideness of God's mercy. Where are the growth edges for you in this? Maybe a lack of fellowship is hampering, hindering relationships in your household, in your neighborhood, in your church. Maybe it's broader than that. Howard Thurman notes that in the course of our lives, our response can be fear, deception or hate. But he suggests an alternative, the way of Jesus, the way of love, which is the focus of his last chapter in his book. It is God's work, but it begins in each one of our hearts.

So this week, ask God to create in you (and me while you're at it) a new heart. If it helps, use the prayer for unity printed above. Then reach across the aisle, whatever that looks like in your life.

Helpful links
RESOURCES TO USE.